Eugene V. Norris was born to Harley Norris and Hazel Hills Norris. Early on he was raised on the Hills’ Pioneer Family Land Claim, Jasper, Ore. Later, he lived in Springfield and graduated from Springfield High School. 

At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Navy at the tail end of World War II. Later, he returned to Eugene, and graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in structural architecture, and received a commission in the U.S. Army. 

In the Army, he became a pilot of twin engine aircraft and helicopters and fought in Korea and Vietnam. During his Army career, he was stationed in Korea, Japan, France, Germany, Vietnam and Washington, D.C. 

In 1968, he retired from the military as a major and became a real estate broker in Oregon and Washington. He spent four years in Richland, Wash., as a project engineer at Hanford. He later returned to Eugene and became a general partner of four Limited Investment Companies and was president of three corporations. Gene spent 34 years as a square dance caller. 

In 1985, Gene married the love of his life, Helen Catherine Wells, of Cottage Grove, Ore. In retirement, Gene and Helen traveled and lived in Mexico and Tucson, Ariz. In 2013, after Helen passed away, Gene moved back to Eugene. 

He has two sons, Larry and Monte Norris, a daughter, Susan Norris Lemmer and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Helen had a daughter, Linda Lewman, and sons Randy and Terry Lewman.